Thrill-seekers adore the heart-racing rides at Dollywood, but not all attendees want to spend the entirety of their visit on roller coasters. There’s no need to stick exclusively to rides; this delightful theme park is also home to several shows, which will have you and your loved ones singing along and tapping your toes.
Whether your idea of the perfect day involves Americana melodies, musical depictions of childhood stories, or interesting facts about birds of prey, you’ll quickly find something to keep you on the edge of your seat at Dollywood. The following productions are especially worth checking out:
Stop by the Showstreet Palace Theater to enjoy the best of southern gospel music at this remarkable show, which highlights the talent of Dollywood’s iconic musical group: the Kingdom Heirs. The singers involved in this beloved quartet are highly regarded throughout the Smoky Mountain region and beyond for their magnificent voices. They perform beautiful four-part renditions of a variety of familiar tunes, including both classic gospel standards and modern hits. It’s impossible to feel glum when immersed in such lovely harmonies, as you’ll quickly discover while attending this show.
Smoky Mountain String Band
Bluegrass has long been a vital Smoky Mountain tradition, so, of course, it’s celebrated throughout Dollywood. The Smoky Mountain String Band highlights several bluegrass favorites in this appealing production, which takes place at the Showstreet Gazebo. This show may be casual, but the talent on display cannot be denied. Stop by for one tune or several; you’ll quickly find yourself smiling from ear to ear.
Live at the Back Porch
Few theme park offerings feel nearly as homey at Live at the Back Porch, which brings a special element of personalization to the live music experience. During this Americana-themed performance, you’ll see and hear four vocalists and six instrumentalists bring a variety of hits to life, often incorporating the hometowns of audience members to make the show that much more special.
Hit up the Valley Theater for a big dose of country charm. This delightful outdoor show features a wide range of recognizable country classics, which are presented in a way that both country lovers and less-than-enthusiastic individuals can get behind. No matter how you feel about country music, you can appreciate the exhilaration on stage and in the audience, with each song presenting another opportunity to pay homage to a beloved musical tradition.
If you don’t enjoy access to a time machine, this may be the closest you’ll get to experience the charm of the 50s and 60s firsthand. For many visitors, however, this show represents the ultimate in nostalgia, taking them back to the musical hits and fashion trends of their childhood and adolescence. Held at the Pines Theater, this vibrant show features four live musicians, twelve performers, and a variety of catchy numbers that will have audience members of all ages itching to hop out of their seats and dance.
My People, My Music
Family and music are the most important things in Dolly Parton’s life. She pays homage to these essentials in the show My People, My Music. This production serves as a special thank you to Dolly’s family for encouraging her to pursue her destiny in Nashville following graduation. This was by no means an easy journey for young Dolly, but family support made the many challenges she encountered on her way to fame manageable. The very people who made it all possible are highlighted in this show, which features songs devoted to the family’s steadfast support and love of the Smoky Mountains.
Wings of America Birds of Prey
You won’t find another Dollywood performance quite like Wings of America Birds of Prey. This unique show ditches the human performers, and instead, relies entirely on the power and mystique of the world’s most fascinating winged creatures. The gorgeous birds featured in this show are wonderfully cared for by the American Eagle Foundation. From owls and hawks to inspiring eagles, your favorite birds of prey are represented in this intriguing production. In addition to marveling at their magnificent form, you’ll learn about their daily lives and their habitat — and why these birds are worth protecting.
The Little Engine Playhouse
Audience members of all ages adore this show, which brings three favorite stories to life: Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, Molly Lou Melon’s Stand Tall, and Watty Piper’s take on The Little Engine That Could. Not only is Dolly’s favorite tale included, she makes an appearance via video for each story — and she wrote all of the show’s songs. Audience participation is encouraged, with sing-a-long songs adding a further element of fun to an already delightful experience.
There’s no shortage of entertainment at Dollywood, where you can easily dedicate an entire day to the shows alone. If your idea of the perfect theme park visit includes a lot of bluegrass, country, and gospel music, you will quickly fall in love with this music-oriented theme park, where the sounds of the Smoky Mountains take center stage.